Today as I was driving home for a quick errand, I saw a guy standing in front of the bank at the center of town holding a sign that said SEEK PEACE AND PURSUE IT. "Well that's nice of him," I thought as I drove by. Peace is a good thing.
Returning to work I had a few minutes left, so I walked some packages over to the post office. Once I got there, I listened as two people in the lobby discussed the guy in front of the bank. This, in itself, was not surprising. I live in a small and highly conservative town, and an event like this is major news.
No, what was surprising is what they were saying.
They were discussing how "there was a time when any hippie protesters would have been run out of town."
The reason I found this surprising was because I assumed my hometown had always been a part of the United States of America, where freedom of expression reigns (or is supposed to, anyway). This is a valid assumption when you consider that Cashmere was incorporated in 1904, which is well after Washington became our 42nd state in 1889.
But I digress...
What really got me going was when the conversation turned bizarre.
They started discussing how things like this were going to become more and more common as more and more people abandoned God.
Not able to contain myself, I simply had to say something...
DAVE: Uhhh... the sign he was holding is a quote from The Bible.
DAVE: The guy you're talking about was holding up a quote from The Bible... it's like a famous Psalm... "seek peace and pursue it."
DAVE: So he hasn't abandoned God, he's actually trying to get people to follow God's Word.
MORON: (laughing) Well I doubt that!!
DAVE: No, it's true. Maybe next time you go to church you can look it up.
The irony of my Buddhism-embracing self knowing The Bible better than many so-called Christians is not lost on me here... I'd just expect that anybody who was so quick to label a person as a godless hippie protester might have at least skimmed The Bible before passing such judgement.
Though, if they actually had studied The Bible, they might have picked up on that whole "judge not lest ye be judged" thing (which isn't actually a demand not to judge, but is instead an edict to not judge unfairly, which is exactly what was happening here).
Hey! I was right!